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FA Cup betting tips

by Ben, last updated 2006-01-05 00:02:02

My bets for this weekend are

Chelsea, Liverpool and Blackburn treble which pays just over evens at bluesquare

Charlton to beat Sheffield Wednesday at 1.95 at William Hill

Aston Villa HT/FT to beat Hull at 3.2 at skybet

Villareal to beat Real Madrid on the Asian Handicap +0 at 1.9 at bet365


Inter Milan/ AC Milan Double at 1.94 at skybet


 Mark's Picks

 by Mark Henderson from bet365

Take A Chance On Wild Rovers And White Hot Laners!
Those people who say anyone can win the FA Cup are, of course, correct but history tends to point to the usual suspects. The last 10 FA Cup Finals have all been won by either Man Utd (4/1 with bet365 for this year's competition), Chelsea (3/1), Arsenal (11/2) or Liverpool (9/1). In the 1980's there were 7 different winners, and 9 in the 70's. This just confirms the dominance of the ‘big 4' and it's no surprise to see all four teams' head this year's betting.

It's often hard to see past the favourites, but Tottenham look a standout bet at best-priced 14/1, considering their excellent league form. Spurs have a comfortable looking tie at Leicester in the third round, (9/2 Leicester, 4/7 Spurs and 5/2 the draw - Live on BBC1), but have the makings of an excellent cup team. They're difficult to beat and will believe they have a genuine opportunity of winning this trophy. Another team who look overpriced are Blackburn at 50/1. Mark Hughes has quietly moved Rovers up to eighth in the Premiership, and have a home tie against QPR (2/5 Blackburn, 6/1 QPR and 3/1 the draw). When you consider they're double the price of Middlesbrough (25/1 - 16th) and three times bigger than Newcastle (14/1 - 11th), that has to be value, but be quick. The 50/1 is the biggest price among all UK bookmakers so it may not last!

FA Cup Picks:
Tottenham to win the FA Cup @ 14/1
Blackburn to win the FA Cup @ 50/1

Pool Of Talent Will Be Too Much For Hatters
With every Premiership team taking on lower league opposition, there's bound to be a shock or two. The key is, of course, to avoid those banana skins (Remember Exeter last year?). Man Utd take on non-league opposition again this year, but can't really be backed at 1/14 nor can they realistically be opposed. Liverpool (2/5) travel to Luton (6/1) for Saturday's live game (17.30 BBC1) and should record an easy win. After their good start to the season, Luton have nosedived, losing nine of their last 13 games. Liverpool's excellent form has been well-documented and an early goal could see the Reds win at a canter. In games where they've led at half time, Liverpool have won every time (7 out of 7) and they're 10/11 to do it again.

Live Game Pick: Half-time/Full-time - Liverpool/Liverpool @ 10/11

On Sunday, Tottenham travel to Leicester (18.30 BBC1) and the 4/7 about Spurs is giving money away. The Foxes are struggling in the Championship and have suffered home defeats to the likes of Luton, Cardiff and Burnley already this season. Leicester can be backed at 9/2 to win this game, but Craig Levein will be more concerned with maintaining Leicester's Championship status than putting together a cup run in a competition which ultimately they can't win. Once the game goes live, don't forget to check out 14 exciting live ‘In-Play' markets.

Live Game Pick: Double: Liverpool (2/5) & Tottenham (4/7)

FA Cup 3rd round weekend is notoriously tough. It is one of the most difficult weekends to make money because there are more short-priced teams than normal, and there's always at least one team that hangs on for an unlikely draw. Seven Premiership teams are 1/5 or shorter, and backing all seven equates to about 8/11, so we're going to have to look elsewhere for value.

Everton (4/5) look a decent price to turn Millwall over. The Lions have the worst home record in the Championship and Everton's record suggests they're better away from home. Millwall may have won their last 2, but they were against lowly Derby and Brighton and prior to that, they'd won only one of their previous 17. This game comes at a time when Everton are starting to turn the corner, with influential midfielder Tim Cahill hitting form, scoring 3 in his last 2 games.

Another standout bet is League One highfliers Brentford to beat League Two's bottom club Stockport at 10/11. Stockport have won only twice all season, and recent results include 6-0 defeats to Macclesfield and Carlisle. Brentford have suffered only one defeat in their last nine, and have been hovering near the top of League One all season. Stockport managed the shock of round 1 by beating Swansea, but it's very unlikely they could manage a repeat against Martin Allen's side.

Of course, there's always a chance one of the minnows could cling on for a draw and you'd do your cash. If you're feeling cautious there's always our ‘draw no bet' coupon, or even the Asian Handicap, which is becoming more popular every week.

Our FA Cup Accumulator pays £188.94 for £25, but you can always add on the likes of Chelsea (1/20), Man Utd (1/14) and Arsenal (1/10) to boost the return, but be wary of Exeter's incredible achievement at Old Trafford last year. Surely that can't happen again. Can it?

FA Cup Accumulator: Liverpool, Tottenham, Everton and Brentford pays £188.94 (£25 Stake) at bet365


 Gerry's Picks

 By Gerry McDonnell

Ask and Ewe Shall Receive

As tradition dictates, the first week in January is a time for New Year's resolutions. Robbie Fowler has pledged to improve his fitness, David James has vowed to overcome his fear of crosses and Steven Gerrard has promised to stop using Bolton players as trampolines.

Sam Hammam has one wish for the New Year, a Cup upset at Highbury. The charismatic Chairman is one of the games most colourful characters, when he signed Spencer Prior for Cardiff, he inserted two clauses in the contract; Prior had to eat sheep's testicles and engage in a physical liaison with a sheep. Prior signed the contract, but he flat out refused to eat the testicle.
Mad Sam's new crazy gang are in for a beating at Highbury, you can back the Cup holders at 1/7.

The managerial career of Graeme Souness hangs by a thread as Michael Owen is ruled out through injury. Michael has fell to the curse of the metatarsal, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Gary Neville have all been laid up with a similar injury, that reads like a who's who of English football; and Gary Neville. All that trouble, from just a little bone. Get on the Geordies to keep Graeme in work for another week; they're 1/6 to beat Mansfield.

It's been a tough season for West Brom, they're odds on to be relegated, their only quality player has handed in a transfer request, their ball-boys have ginger hair and they've drawn the hottest team in the Country in the FA Cup. Reading are on a 27 match unbeaten run in the Championship; they're available at 15/8 to beat the Baggies at the Hawthorns. I have three words of advice; get stuck in.

After a few choice tackles of his own, it's somewhat ironic that Michael Essien has been ruled out due to a nasty challenge. Maybe there's something in this karma; there is, half a poppadom. Chelsea are 1/14 to beat Huddersfield; they will win.

Peter Crouch has shown incredible improvement in recent weeks, at the start of the season he looked abysmal, now he's scoring like Wayne Rooney on an 18-60 holiday in Amsterdam. Steven Gerrard is currently sizzling like a pan full of bacon, you can't oppose the Reds; a 2/5 banker.

Why is it the characters in Eastenders are always depressed at Christmas? Possibly because they're West Ham supporters. After losing three matches on the trot, the Hammers won't fancy a trip to Carrow Road; the form book says the Canaries are a decent investment at 9/5; I refuse to argue with a book.

Kevin Nolan would like to get something off his chest; Stevie Gerrard. He believes Bolton have an excellent chance in the FA Cup this season, I agree. Bolton at 28's, Villa at 33's and Reading at 200's are all worth a small each way tinkle.

With the Lions, Tigers, Owls and Rams all in action, the weekend specials have gone a bit animal.

"A Stag party" - Mansfield to score a goal Evs
"A bald Eagle" - Andy Johnson (Palace) to score with a header 4/1
"A Canary dwarf" - Dean Ashton to score with a header 7/1
"An old Deer" - Wayne Rooney to score a hat-trick 9/1

Quote of the week:

"If I'm at home, yes, I will see it, but maybe my wife would like to go somewhere. It all depends on my wife."

Jose Mourinho (surprisingly) is mortal.

Stat, you're a liberty:

The team with the sloppiest finishing in the Premiership is...Aston Villa. Less than 35% of Villa's attempts trouble the goalkeeper.

Acc of the week:

Aston Villa, Everton, Bolton, Liverpool and Tottenham form the weekend accer, it pays out at 16/1.

Weekend Betting:

Hull v Aston Villa Saturday 7th January 12.30 Live on BBC

Hull 5/2
Draw 9/4
Aston Villa 10/11

Get on: Aston Villa

Villa have drawn Hull in the FA Cup on four previous occasions, the Villa qualified every time. Villa are unbeaten over the Xmas period, away win.
Match Special:
Villa to score three or more goals 7/2

Arsenal v Cardiff Saturday 7th January 13.00

Arsenal 1/7
Draw 5/1
Cardiff 12/1

Get on: Arsenal

The Gunners have failed to find the net in their last two and a half matches. Cardiff conceded five against Reading in their last match, the Gunners will put that stat to bed.
Match Special:
Cardiff to have a player sent off 6/1

Wigan v Leeds Saturday 7th January 13.00

Wigan 4/6
Draw 12/5
Leeds 7/2

Get on: Leeds

Leeds have won their last four, Wigan have lost their last two. Leeds won their only previous FA Cup encounter, a shock is on the cards; if Leeds beating Wigan is a shock.
Match Special:
Leeds to score two or more goals 5/2

Chelsea v Huddersfield Saturday 7th January 15.00

Chelsea 1/14
Draw 6/1
Huddersfield 25/1

Get on: Chelsea

The last time Huddersfield travelled to the Bridge in a Cup match, Chelsea took a 1-0 mauling. It's seven games without a win for Huddersfield, a repeat can be safely ruled out.
Match Special:
Joe Cole to score at any time 11/8

Ipswich v Portsmouth Saturday 7th January 15.00

Ipswich 7/4
Draw 9/4
Portsmouth 5/4

Get on: Ipswich

Pompey look a stronger outfit under Harry, but five defeats away from home on the bounce tells a story. Joe Royle will have his boys up for this one; home win.
Match Special:
Jason De Vos to score the only goal of the game 175/1

Millwall v Everton Saturday 7th January 15.00

Millwall 5/2
Draw 9/4
Everton 10/11

Get on: Everton

It's two wins on the bounce for Everton, their improved form should see them past a relegation threatened Millwall.
Match Special:
Tim Cahill to score the only goal of the game 28/1

Newcastle v Mansfield Saturday 7th January 15.00

Newcastle 1/6
Draw 9/2
Mansfield 12/1

Get on: Newcastle

The Geordies have conceded two goals in each of their last three matches. Fortunately for the Toon Army, Mansfield are awful.
Match Special:
Alan Shearer to score a hat-trick 12/1

Norwich v West Ham Saturday 7th January 15.00

Norwich 9/5
Draw 9/4
West Ham 6/5

Get on: Norwich

It's five wins out of six for Norwich, while the Hammers have lost three on the bounce. The Premiership side are up against it.
Match Special:
Dean Ashton to score two or more goals 8/1

Watford v Bolton Saturday 7th January 15.00

Watford 9/5
Draw 9/4
Bolton 6/5

Get on: Bolton

Watford have a 100% record against Bolton in the FA Cup, played one, won one. One fancies Bolton in this one.
Match Special:
Diouf to score two or more goals 13/2

West Brom v Reading Saturday 7th January 15.00

West Brom 6/5
Draw 11/5
Reading 15/8

Get on: Reading

Reading are unbeaten in the league since the opening day, the Baggies are boinging out of the FA Cup.
Match Special:
Dave Kitson to score the first goal 15/2

Luton v Liverpool Saturday 7th January 17.30 Live on BBC

Luton 13/2
Draw 11/4
Liverpool 2/5

Get on: Liverpool

The Pool are flying, Luton have earned 4 points out of the last 21 available. A banker away win.
Match Special:
Djibril Cisse to score two or more goals 9/2

Burton Albion v Man Utd Sunday 8th January 16.00 Live on Sky

Burton Albion 25/1
Draw 11/2
Man Utd 1/12

Get on: Man Utd

Cloughie and Cup success are synonymous, but this fairytale does not have a happy ending. Burton have been tight at the back recently, they haven't conceded more than one goal in their last 14 games. It won't be a cakewalk for United.
Match Special:
Man U to win 2-0 9/1

Leicester v Tottenham Sunday 8th January 18.30 Live on BBC

Leicester 5/1
Draw 12/5
Tottenham 8/15

Get on: Tottenham

These two have drawn each other in the FA Cup on eight previous occasions, Spurs have qualified seven times. It's eight games without a win for Leicester; it's a question of how many.
Match Special:
Tottenham to score four or more goals 6/1

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